"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25
Many of you may have read the above scripture and thought to yourself, “Whoever wrote that scripture does not have my schedule” or “That was meant for the early Christians and it was a different culture than we live in.” Some may think you can motivate, encourage one another and show acts of love and good works without having to show up for church. All true and relevant points but I think the writer of Hebrews understood the results of meeting together, how it strengthens our faith, how it reenergizes us for the week, how it deepens our love for one another and for God. The early Christians met every day, not just once a week for 90 minutes…think about it!
I know that life is very busy for most of us. Hey, you are hearing from a guy whose life is so busy that I constantly ask God for more hours pretty much every day. I’m the father to three boys who have activities, a husband, a business owner, and a pastor. So when you look up busy in the dictionary you might see my face there frowning at you; trust me I feel your pain. Also, both Dave and I have talked about not letting church (gathering) get in the way of a neighbor in need, a child’s activity, or a community service need. That however, does not mean that we are saying it’s okay to neglect your church family by not gathering together on Sunday mornings or missing small groups. Christ did life together with His disciples and the Apostles did life together with the church. The success of our church New Springs Community is dependent on us doing life together.
I want you to know that you are NOT just a number to us or support for the church! You are valued, you are loved, you are wanted, you are needed, and you are MISSEDwhen you are not at church. When you miss church on Sunday, you miss opportunities to connect with people who share your faith and belief. When you are not there, people look for you and ask about you because we look forward to seeing you and worshiping God together!
The Bible tells us we need to have Christian fellowship so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth (Acts 2:42; Hebrews10:25). Fellowship is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
When a person trusts Jesus Christ for salvation, he or she is made a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). Likewise, a believer will never reach full spiritual maturity without the assistance and encouragement of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:21-26). For these reasons, church attendance/participation and/or fellowship should be regular aspects of a believer’s life. Weekly church attendance is in no sense “required,” but someone who belongs to Christ should have a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers on a regular basis. Please make time for your church family and to come to church; we love you and look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
“Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.” Kevin DeYoung